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Explain the status and position of the European Jews at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. Refer to Russia, France and Germany.

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GCSE History Coursework Question 1. Explain the status and position of the European Jews at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. Refer to Russia, France and Germany. Anti-Semitism has always occurred throughout the history of Europe. Discrimination against the Jews has happened in many ways, ranging from mere physical bullying right through to mass genocide. Throughout the 18th Century Jews had thought they had seen the end of the hated racism that was so constantly pounded at them, but that was all about to change. As one day Adolf Hitler made a speech, and this speech would lead to shaping the destiny of the Jews. In the 1880's German Jews had equal legal rights as any other German citizen. This had come over many years of pain from the Jews, as torment and death appeared to follow them everywhere they settled. They now had a brief respite from these hardships, but there were still restrictions against these people. The 3 main areas where Jews were restricted against were education, the military and the government. Germans still didn't want Jews in high power over their race, as many still believed the Jews to be inferior to them. Many Jews were exceedingly rich even with these restrictions, as many tended to be good businessmen, and made a great living. ...read more.


This was out of a massive population of 40 million, so the Jews were an extraordinarily minuscule minority. This explains why the French Jews were accepted so easily, as with only tiny numbers, they were not seen as a threat to anyone. They were regarded as insignificant in terms of threat to the country. Although this entire acceptance existed, there were anti-Semitism feelings hidden underneath the clean-cut surface. There were several criticising books written by various authors, which explained how the Jews were an inferior race. These were all based on 'Social Darwinism', and clarify that Jews were a threat to all other superior races. Some Frenchmen were highly envious of many of the rich Jewish businessmen's wealth and accomplishments. Clerical anti-Semitism arose as part of the French Catholic Church began a series of brutal racial attacks on the Jews. This hatred from the two religions dated back to the middle Ages, and still remained at this time. As these reasons for hating the Jews remained, it got profoundly worse as many Jews arrived in France as refugees from Eastern Europe, mainly Communist Russia. After the Russian pogroms of 1881 120,00 Jews arrived in France. This made the Jews stand out a lot more, as many of the newly arrived Jews wore traditional Jewish clothing and carried out customs, which made people watch them a lot more closely. ...read more.


He was the last Tsar Russia would see and thankfully so. After his time democracy ruled, and Russia would be free of many of the troubles and traumas that haunted the country and its people alike. This tyrant gave the police stronger powers to use against the Jews and encouraged people to attack Jews. He encouraged and persuaded many people to write anti-Semitic pamphlets and books. He wanted to spread anti-Semitism not just throughout Russia, but also all over the world. This man made Jewish life a lot harder than it already was, and was a cruel tyrant. This led to the cruellest pogroms against Jews in 1903 and 1905. This was ruthless slaughter, and hundreds were brutally murdered. Thousands more lay with broken bodies and torn flesh, while others huddled in shelter after their homes had been incinerated to a crisp. In 1905 the Tsar's secret police published a book called 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion'. This was a complete forgery and pretended to be a plan by the leaders of the Jews all over the world, to take over the world and have Jewish reign. This book was a horrible event, as many people believed it, especially in Germany, and made people absolutely despise the Jewish religion and it's people. All in all the Jews had it bad. In all 3 countries, there were strong anti-Semitic feelings and leaders that provoked these feelings. The worst was let to come however, there seemed to be no respite for the Jewish people. ...read more.

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